AVON, Nov. 16 – The Avon High boys soccer team made No. 5 Brookfield sweat Monday in the Class L quarterfinals at Fisher Meadow but a three-goal lead was too much to overcome in a 4-1 defeat. Despite playing with 10 men for the final 26 minutes of the game, No. 4 Avon (13-2-3) was able to keep the pressure on the Bobcats.
Defender Jack O’Brien received a red card and was thrown out of the game after using his hand to stop a head ball from Brookfield’s A.J. Stueck from going into the goal. Stueck converted on the penalty kick for a 3-0 lead and his 36th goal of the season.
Less than four minutes later, Avon’s Kevin Janson popped in a corner kick that cut the lead to two goals and energized the Falcons, who were outshot 12-5 in the first half. But Brookfield goalie Matthew Bonn was up to the task and stopped 12 of Avon’s 13 shots in the second half. Avon had a 9-2 edge on corner kicks in the second half.
“Matthew really has an innate ability to excel in the dark moments of the game and he’s done that for us for three years now,” Brookfield coach Jared Sheikh told the Danbury News Times. “I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Brookfield took a 1-0 lead just 4:56 into the game when Brian Grisell’s head ball pass to Stueck, who deflected the ball off his chest and past Falcon goalie Sean Lanahan (11 saves). They made it 2-0 when Luke Niarhos ripped a shot that just snuck under the crossbar with 53 seconds left in the first half. They added a final goal in the last five minutes with the Falcons pressing forward.
“I was very happy with the way my guys played,” Avon coach Patrick Mulligan told The News Times. “We possessed the ball well. We knocked the ball around well. I think we created a lot more chances than they did. When they had theirs, they just put them away and we didn’t.”
Avon 2, Notre Dame-West Haven 1 (3-2 PK)
AVON, Nov. 12 – Aaron Leopold scored for the Falcons, who outlasted ND-WH by a 3-2 score on penalty kicks. Goalie Sean Lanahan made two big diving saves in penalty kicks to help the Falcons prevail. Leopold gave the Falcons a 1-0 when his shot slipped past Notre Dame keeper Anthony Simone with 36:03 left in regulation. ND tied the game tied the game with 17:16 remaining. Avon hit the crossbar three times in the final 15 minutes to no avail and the teams played through a pair of overtimes before getting to PKs.